In Ireland, we used to say that we were willing to bury the hatchet but we made sure to mark the spot because we might need it again. Oh, no! That cannot be! We must go and find a deep river or lake or the ocean and stand there and throw it in over our shoulders and forget it; otherwise, we will not be children of God, as we are destined to be. Do we ever stop to think of what we say every day in the prayer our Lord taught us? “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In effect I’m saying, “Lord, You see the way I treat those who have hurt me. You see my understanding, my generosity, my compassion, and my genuine forgiveness. That’s the way you must treat me. “ My dear friends, if you and I, as a child of God, are destined on this earth to show forth His forgiveness, His love, His compassion, His mercy to the human beings around us, then we must go on striving every day to meet His standards and live by His ideals. And surely this is a prayer that finds an echo in our hearts. “Oh, Lord, please teach me to forgive. As I come out of my darkness and my loneliness and my selfishness, help me to share with others and never grow weary of sharing the forgiveness and the love that You are forever giving to me. “
From the book: Reflections with Father Leo Clifford O.F.M.